Monday, December 31, 2012

injaynesworld "A New Year Is Upon Us..."

As the last page of the calendar drifts slowly to the floor, I marvel once again at how quickly one year turns into another these days, though it was not always so.  Mother Nature was a free-wheeling gal until Father Time came along to crimp her style.  It would have been nice to have lived before such constraints – to know only the sun and the moon and not worry about much beyond that.

In 2012, we managed to dodge the Mayan’s prediction of the end of the world, although when I look at the current state of things, it occurs to me that they may have been speaking metaphorically.  As a species, we continue to kill each other at an astounding rate, pollute the planet beyond what future generations may be able to survive, and worship at the altars of fear and lack.  Frankly, it’s a wonder to me that we’ve lasted this long.  I often question if we are not just a grand failed experiment and somewhere in the Universe is another planet much like ours where “God” got it right.  Then I turn off the news...

Many will be happy to see 2012 go.  I am not one of them.  Exhausting as it was, I’m not happy to see any year go.  It only means I have fewer left.  You start to notice those things at a certain age.  But I embrace the New Year and, like you, I eagerly infuse it with dreams and goals, promises and pledges, determined to make it even better than the last, hoping to hold onto its newness for a little longer this time around and to ward off the self-flogging when resolutions fall by the side of the road, as most inevitably do.

We might all be better off to just promise that we’ll do the best we can, forgive ourselves when we fall below our goals, and recognize the chance to start fresh with the dawn of each new day.  After all, there was a time when each new day was all we knew. 

Wishing you all an abundance of love, health, and good fortune in the coming year. 

Jayne, Dixie, Mason, Bubba & Levi

Thursday, December 13, 2012

injaynesworld “The North Pole’s Got Nothin’ On Me…”

It didn’t grow wild in the forest or come from a Christmas tree farm, but it won’t drop needles all over the floor as its dying carcass is sadly dragged from the house sometime in late January because I can’t bear to part with it any sooner.  In fact, I needn’t part with it at all.  I could just hang hearts on it in February, Easter eggs in spring, and little American flags in July, but I won’t because I’m not yet quite that demented. 

True, it doesn’t fill my home with the smell of fresh pine, but that’s why God created Glade. 

If life has taught me anything it’s the importance of improvising.  Gone now are the Christmas parties of years past where my large home was packed with friends decorating my eight-foot tree and feasting on freshly-made tomato bisque soup.  The soup is still here, but the gatherings are smaller, two or three friends at a time as my tiny new abode will allow, and not a bit of the festivity has been lost.

It’s hard for me to believe that I was once a “Bah-humbug” about this time of year.  Unhappy with my own life, I felt mocked by the gaiety I saw everywhere around me, and tried my best to shut Christmas out.  Like a raging river, however, it would not be denied, and ultimately I always broke down, unpacked my tiny fake tree and carefully positioned the lights.  “You win, Christmas,” I would say with a smile.   

There are many people feeling that Christmas is lost to them, but it’s never lost to anyone.  It continues to live in our hearts, maybe only as a tiny ember of Christmases past, but make just the smallest effort to meet it halfway and see how quickly its flame ignites to lift your spirits.  

Go on.  Improvise. 

Wishing you all the blessings and joy of the holiday season.

Monday, December 3, 2012

injaynesworld “The Universe Calls My Bluff…”

This is Bubba.  He’s 27 and yes, that’s old for a horse.  I retired him in 1999 due to some soundness issues never dreaming he’d still be on the payroll all these many years later.  In fact, I’ve often complained about just that, wondering when the old coot was going to stop draining my dwindling funds to pay for a retirement that is far better than anything I’ll ever be able to afford for myself.  Not long ago, in a moment of fiscal frustration, I even uttered the words, “When is that damn horse going to die?”  I was ashamed the moment they spewed from my lips and I took them back immediately, but it was too late.  The Universe had heard. 

When it comes to my animals, end-of-life decisions have rarely been clear-cut.  More often than not, I’ve allowed more time to pass than I should have and regretted it in hindsight.  Hindsight sucks.  As Bubba grew older, I swore that when his time came I would not put him, myself or my bank account through needless suffering by prolonging the inevitable. I’d given him the best quality of life a horse could want and there would be no regrets.  My prayer, of course, was that one warm, sunny day he would simply lie down in his green pasture to nap and peacefully drift away, saving me from the difficult duty of having to play God.  Besides, I’m pretty sure it’s in His job description.  It sure as hell isn’t in mine.

Bubba first took ill on Thanksgiving.  (Note:  Horses have the uncanny ability to know when it’s a holiday and veterinarian calls double in rate.)   The signs were subtle.  He was off his feed a bit.  Probably a mild colic and was treated for such. But by the weekend, his temperature was 103.6, over four degrees above normal, and it was clear something else was going on.  A full blood panel was ordered.   Expensive, yes, but at least I’d know something definitive and a decision – the decision – could be made if need be. 

And here’s where the Universe steps in… The blood work came back clean.  Yep.  All systems go.  And yet he’s clearly sick.  But how sick?   Is it his time or isn’t it?  What do I do?

As I write this, it’s been a week of taking his temperature three times a day in the “exit only” region, inspecting his stall for the blessed sight of fresh manure, and walking him out to graze. (Oh, yeah – he quickly figured out that I will, in fact, stand out in the pouring rain with him so he can have his much-preferred fresh grass.)  There have been antibiotics that must be dissolved in water and squirted into his mouth every 12 hours via a large syringe.   As you might guess, Bubba is none too fond of this and so the amount I actually get down his throat as opposed to the amount of the pricey brew that he spits in my face just adds to the merriment.  His water intake must be monitored and the large, heavy bucket cleaned out twice daily to keep the water fresh and inviting to his picky palate.  My lower back is crying “Uncle” and it’s not alone.

Bubba has four more days to go on the antibiotics.  I can tell that he feels like crap, but no more than you or I with a bad case of the flu.  Can he rally?  I don’t know.  The definitive answer I need in order to make that end-of-life decision continues to elude me.  Meanwhile, he still shows an interest in eating and if he’s not ready to give up, then neither am I.  I want him to live.  I want him to still have that chance to check out on his own in his beloved sunny pasture, and I swear I’ll never again complain about a single buck I spend on his care.  You hear that, Universe?

The moral of the story is this:  Guard your words, my friends, because the Universe is always standing by and eager to test your resolve. 

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